Summer mornings are fun.
Even more so with sun.
No wonder this little one smiles.
Our porch is a lift.
Each new dawn a gift.
She lingers for quite a long while.
Over the years we’ve both shared the loss of two immediate family members, two corgis, a senior chihuahua, one cairn terrier and a hospice cat.
My boy Tuck’s definitely not a kid, but his exact age is unknown.
Tuck was found 11 years ago as a stray traveling country lanes in Missouri,
not too far from a puppy mill.
The pads on his little feet were worn down from his life on the road.
“Probably dumped because he was no longer useful as a breeding dog,” my kindly vet had speculated back then, shaking his head
I’m seeing more gray hairs now framing Tuck’s face with eyes increasingly cloudy as he sits next to me this morning.
Just where he’s chosen to be.
After all, Tuck’s always been my loyal little lieutenant.
He’s also been my anchor in an often stormy sea the last decade.
They’ll likely be a sunset before too long when I’ll have to lift that anchor and finally set Tucker free.
But in the meantime, I’ll be celebrating this courageous and constant companion and the great comfort he’s always given me.
It seems this senior pup finally found his purpose.
How lucky am I?
It’s been over a month now since Misty first joined me.
As she’d seen plenty of disappointment in her first four years of life, it was no surprise that trust was a challenge for her. https://quiltofmissingmemories.wordpress.com/2018/02/21/take-a-chance-on-me/
Misty had lived in two different homes previously, and had experienced a couple of long shelter stays as well.
Yet she’s a quite a resilient little girl. Instead of hiding under my tables, she now jumps up into my arms when I open the door after work.
I’ve also found Misty to be clean and neat.
And very sweet.
I’m thinking this third chance at a home has definitely been a charm.
I do know for sure that Misty clearly is.
The sweet gray cat had been in the shelter longer than the rest.
She’d been dismissed by all who walked by, just because she’d been labeled.
That is except for one kind man who was gently scratching her chin as I walked into the cat room.
Though only four years old, Misty had already lived two prior lives according to her records.
And she’d also spent time at this shelter before.
It seems Misty was originally adopted by a family when she was just a kitten. But they brought her back when they moved to an apartment that didn’t allow pets.
Still last year fortunately she did find another home.
Yet Misty was brought back to the shelter once again after her second owners reported she had a “litter box issue.”
“And you know what that means,” the kind man in the cat room said slowly.
‘It’s definitely the kiss of death’ he hinted while shaking his head as he read me the rest of her chart.
“Oh, but she she seems like such a sweet cat,” he added.
I nodded in agreement then joined in on the scratch fest, finding Misty’s sweet spot right behind her little left ear.
I’ve heard litter box issues are one of the most common reasons for surrendering a cat to a shelter.
Though I’ve also heard it’s often used only as an excuse.
More than a few little kittens have been given as gifts to people who never imagined themselves becoming owners of big adult cats, or quite accepting of the fact that felines do require regular care and maintenance.
“Was this the situation with Misty?” I asked one of the workers at the shelter.
“Well, what we do know is she came here right after Christmas and hasn’t had one accident in the six weeks since.”
I had no intentions this year of replacing my hospice cat, Mr. Bojangles, who peacefully left this world back in January.
But I admit I do like to give two legged and four legged friends second chances.
And in some special cases, even a third.
As soon as Misty lifted her head and gave me that ‘take a chance on me’ look, the rest is history.
And though our history’s just three weeks old, I’m happy to report that so far it’s been absolutely purr-fect.
Today was our 24th morning with below zero temps.
The weather’s getting old, both for me and my handsome man Rex.
Midwestern winters can get a lot worse than this one, still we both knew we needed to shake off our sour attitudes some.
Rex grabbed his napping brother Tucker’s letter jacket for an early Valentine’s date at our favorite coffee and crepe shop.
We immediately knew we’d scored a win as we walked in the door and smelled the sweet scents from the oven.
Though my glasses were steamed up as I approached the counter, I could see there was one chocolate chip cookie left just for us though Rex preferred the long, thin crispy wafer that came with our cappuccino.
Rex was attracting more than a few smiles in spite of a mohawk that’s gone radically rogue. In fact, I even thought I caught him winking back at a couple of stylish young ladies at the next table glancing his direction.
But then a slightly older, smiling woman walked up to us and said, “Oh, but I can tell he’s a good boy. In fact, a VERY good boy! I can see it in his eyes.”
Suddendly Rex looked up at me for a moment and gave me some sweet and gentle kisses on my hand.
I warmly nodded at the woman and told her, “Oh, yes. This loving Valentine is most definitely a winner.”
I spent Christmas Eve four years ago in an empty hospital watching Saturday Night Live reruns with my husband, Richard.
It was always his favorite show.
I held his frail right hand in mine, but found myself smiling.
My husband slept mostly, yet didn’t seem to be in pain.
Richard was in hospice at the time and wasn’t expected to make it until Christmas Day.
Though my mind was sometimes on overtime processing a host of decisions and emotions, I still found something beautiful about my husband’s hospice experience.
You see I often found myself living in the moment as well.
Maybe that’s why I found myself drawn to go back to see a special hospice cat I met last week at a local shelter.
This dear man will be joining me for Christmas Eve, and for the rest of his days.
The happy cat’s name is Mr. Bojangles, and it seems he still likes to dance.
At least for now.
But of course, I’ll still be there even when he doesn’t.
After all, that’s what life’s all about.